By Kirsten Korosec
September 11, 2017

Mercedes-AMG, the German automaker’s high-performance division, finally revealed its F1- engine street legal hypercar at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Germany. And it’s exactly what you’d expect from a $2.7 million vehicle: powerful, luxurious, exotic, and rare. Only 275 of these speed demons will be made for the U.S. market.

The Project One vehicle, as they’re calling it, is a high-performance hybrid with an 8-speed manual transmission, an output of more than 1,000 horsepower, and the ability to reach speed above 217 miles per hour. Oh, and it can travel from 0 to 124 miles per hour in 6 seconds.

The show car is designed to combine racetrack performance with “day-to-day” suitable Formula 1 hybrid technology and efficiency. Formula 1 is the highest class of single-seat auto racing and the vehicle in these races, or Grands Prix, are considered the fastest road course racing cars in the world.

The vehicle has one hybrid, turbocharged combustion engine and four electric motors. One motor is integrated into the turbocharger, another is installed on the combustion engine with a link to the crankcase, and the two remaining motors drive the front wheels. The 1.6-liter V6 hybrid gasoline engine comes directly from the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 racing car, according to the automaker.

The Mercedes-AMG Project ONE. Photo courtesy of
Daimler AG

That’s notable because as competition has heated up over the next best hypercar, companies are looking for new ways to bring speed and agility to these specialty cars. The intent, Mercedes says, is to deliver the experience a race car driver has on the track to a vehicle built for the road.

Of course, there aren’t a lot of opportunities in an urban environment or even on an highway to push this vehicle to its limits.

Showcar Mercedes-AMG Project ONE, zweisitziger Supersportwagen-mit modernster und effizientester Formel 1-Hybrid-Technologie, High Performance Plug-in Hybrid Antriebsstrang mit 1,6-Liter-V6-Turbobenzinmotor und vier Elektromotoren // Showcar Mercedes-AMG Project ONE, two-seater supersports car with the very latest and efficient, fully-fledged Formula 1 hybrid technology, high-performance plug-in hybrid drive system with 1.6 1.6-litre V6 turbocharged petrol engine and four electric motors

The looks of the two-seater sportscar are clearly inspired by lines you might find on a race car. But it’s more approachable. Well, as approachable as a $2.7 million hypercar can get.

The doors open both forwards and upwards, just like in motorsports. And the roof line has an air intake feature—another Formula 1 detail that takes in large volumes of air to cool the engine.

The shark fin on the Project One showcar. Photo courtesy of
Daimler AG

This intake feature, which dominates from the front view, turns into a black duel shark fin that offers some functionality. The fin improves lateral stability when cornering at high speed, according to Mercedes.

Then there’s the interior.

Showcar Mercedes-AMG Project ONE, zweisitziger Supersportwagen-mit modernster und effizientester Formel 1-Hybrid-Technologie, High Performance Plug-in Hybrid Antriebsstrang mit 1,6-Liter-V6-Turbobenzinmotor und vier Elektromotoren Showcar Mercedes-AMG Project ONE, two-seater supersports car with the very latest and efficient, fully-fledged Formula 1 hybrid technology, high-performance plug-in hybrid drive system with 1.6 1.6-litre V6 turbocharged petrol engine and four electric motors
Courtesy of Daimler AG

Inside the vehicle you’ll find a nod to motorsports, like the F1-style rectangular steering wheel, and more conventional details for the everyday commuter. For instance, there are two seats. And a spot for a smartphone in the center console.

The vehicle also has two high-resolution, free-standing 10-inch displays. One is situated in front of the driver, the other is located just to the right of the center console and is also angled towards the person behind the wheel.

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